Shield Equals Protection
Part of the Green EquationTile Doctor Shield® (The Shield) can be an active part of a corporate sustainability and wellness strategy.
Cleaner, Healthier SurfacesMicrobes can wreak havoc on the appearance and functionality of any flooring or surfacing product. They can contribute to stains and strong odors, leading to less clean – and potentially unsafe (and unhealthy) – surfaces. Functionally enhanced antimicrobial protection such as The Shield can deliver additional safeguards against microbial contamination on both horizontal and vertical surfaces. This extra level of protection will help to extend the life of the installation and provide a more sanitary surface between cleanings while also helping to avoid odors and stains.
Better Indoor Air QualityVOC (volatile organic compound) levels are a critical determinant in LEED Certification for indoor air quality. The Shield contains no VOCs, and the product's demonstrated effectiveness against odor causing bacteria leads to healthier indoor air quality.
Cradle to Cradle AccountabilitySustainability should be considered from every aspect of sourcing, manufacturing, transportation, use, disposal and recyclability. Many antimicrobials seep into the water, creating harmful effects for wastewater or run-off, which can negatively impact marine life and other wildlife. Because The Shield is a bonded antimicrobial, it won't leach or off-gas into the environment.
Non-LeachingThe Shield controls the growth of microorganisms without the use of chemical toxins. Competing technologies utilize heavy metals, silver, triclosan or other leaching chemistries that emit low doses of toxins. Once the supply of chemicals is depleted, there is a diminishing return on efficacy.
Physical Elimination of MicrobesIn contrast to a leaching technology, in which the cell membranes of microbes are poisoned, The Shield provides a mechanical barrier of antimicrobial protection. Upon direct contact with The Shield, the cell membranes of microbes are physically ruptured. The average microbe (3 microns wide) is drawn onto a surface with magnetic force, rupturing the cell wall with the equivalent of 25,000 spears. The modified surface becomes inhospitable to a broad spectrum of bacteria, algae and fungi. There is no chemical remaining to be consumed by microbes – or by humans.
Long-term EffectivenessAdding to The Shield's safety profile is its characteristic of covalently (permanently) bonding to hard surfaces, offering a built-in system of protection. The Shield provides continuous control of microbial growth and will not dissipate or become depleted as long as the surface remains intact. The result is a protected environment long after traditional antimicrobials or sanitizers have stopped working, along with reliable surface protection in between routine cleanings.
Easier to Clean Properties/FacilitiesThe Shield can make a surface hydrophobic (water repelling), simplifying cleaning. The protected surface easily releases stains, and prevents hard water and soap scum deposits. In most cases, a neutral cleanser is all that is required to maintain surfaces treated with The Shield. Because no harsh cleansers are needed, fewer toxic chemicals go down the drain during the cleaning process.
HistoryDow Corning Corporation, the largest supplier of silicone and silane chemicals in the world, began a research program in the late 1960s aimed at determining if organofunctional silanes could be used as an alternative to more traditional leaching chemical pesticides. Company researchers posed the following question: "Could tying these molecular chains to target surfaces with a silane prevent them from migrating into the environment through leaching or volatilizing?" The outcome of this question would lead to safer, more efficient and more effective pesticides, including antimicrobials. Over a period of 10 years, a large variety of formulations were tested. The screening tests included standard ASTM protocols, and a variety of toxicological and environmental impact reviews. Out of this work came several antimicrobial patents, and Dow Corning brought the most promising products into commercialization, complete with EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) registrations. From the inception of the program, the company has maintained strict confidentiality in regard to the formulation and processing of the technology – preventing competitors from duplicating the quality, safety and efficacy of products that incorporate it.
Scientific ValidationDuring this timeframe, several validating technical papers by respected chemists and microbiologists outside of the Dow Corning network were published. These peer reviewed works confirmed the quality of the data, the uniqueness of the discovery, and set the stage for Dow Corning to earn Industrial Research magazine's prestigious IR-100 Award for the groundbreaking technology.
Commercialization and Real-World ExperienceCommercialization of the Dow Corning technology began in 1976 after the company received EPA registrations. Years of research by both outside laboratories and Dow Corning verified the safety and utility of the technology for direct human contact goods such as textiles. Early on, Burlington's Bioguard®-brand socks revolutionized the marketing of the technology, providing a real-world consumer application. Consumers have been safely wearing the technology in skin contact applications ever since.
ImitatorsBy the late 1980s, several companies began to manufacture "me too" products. Although these companies have managed to register similar chemical compounds, they have been unable to match the performance, cross-linking and stability that make the Dow Corning technology so effective. In fact, most of these competitive products can be easily removed from surfaces with everyday household chemicals, and others exhibit stability issues and/or a tendency to discolor the surfaces to which they have been applied.
Creation of Tile Doctor ShieldIn 2008, a team of fired ceramics and natural stone experts, led by tile industry veteran Curt Rapp of The Tile Doctor, were introduced to the Dow Corning technology. In 2009, Silver Cornia, a recognized R&D expert in the tile industry, joined The Tile Doctor team and – over time – perfected the application of the antimicrobial technology for fired ceramics and natural stone. Rigorous testing ensued to ensure efficacy, performance and durability, as well as effects on COF (coefficient of friction) and abrasion. The antimicrobial was also evaluated for eco-friendliness and sustainability. While the technology and its application method have since been arduously refined, Tile Doctor Shield is the same basic product that leading companies continue to regard as the safest, most durable solution available for effective microbial control.
Representative Microorganisms Tested: A Partial Compendium
Antimicrobial protection against: